My Latest in Wines & Vines: Washington Wineries Move to Former Brewery

Washington Wineries Move to Former Brewery

by L.M. Archer



Kelly and Chris Sparkman, the founders of Sparkman Cellars, meet with executive winemaker Chris Upchurch and CEO Tom Dugan of DeLille Cellars at the former Redhook brewery.©Richard Duval Images.

Woodinville, Wash.—Sparkman Cellars and DeLille Cellars made what one described as a “game changing” move to set up shop in a vacant brewery once operated by Redhook.

“There is not another Redhook,” says Chris Sparkman, director of winemaking and founder of Sparkman Cellars. “There’s not another open space on the 50-yard line of Main Street. That’s a game changer for us.”

Sparkman and DeLille also joined forces with Seattle’s iconic Teatro Zinzanni circus-acrobatic dinner theatre, and an as-yet-unnamed restaurant entity in transforming the former brewery into a state-of-the-art wine and food venue.

Not only does the eclectic expanse share the same street as Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, but also sidles alongside the Sammamish River Trail, Tolt Pipeline Equestrian Trail, and the Burke Gilman bike trail, Seattle’s most-used bike trail. “Guests will be able to get to us by kayak, by horseback trail, by bike – the sky’s the limit,” Sparkman said.

Redhook opened the brewery in 1995, and the facility had been the state’s largest until it closed last year. Owner Craft Brew Alliance, which formed through the merger of Redhook and Widmer Brothers in 2008, sold the building to a real estate management group in a deal reported to be worth nearly $25 million.

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